Every August since 2005 the same thing happens. I get nostalgic. For good reason. The eight month of each year marks the anniversary of my finishing treatment for head and neck cancer. I tend to gravitate back to my journal from that year.
Here is a portion of my entry from August 7, 2005:
Felt nauseous much of the day, yesterday, but for the first time in a long while did not throw up [I learned to celebrate the slightest of victories]. I slept better last night too. Thanks be to God. [See what I mean?] I don’t think I was awake for more than an hour at any one stretch. I didn’t get up up yesterday until noon. Read the paper and then watched baseball. I was feeling pretty punk. Wondered if the anemia was affecting me. Nancy read me my Bible chapters [By God’s grace I managed to keep up with my through the Bible in a year reading]. I just didn’t feel up to it. Took a nap. Did some emails. We watched the celebration of Operation Mobilization honoring forty-five years of George and Drena Verwer’s ministry. It was exuberant, funny, touching, and inspiring all at the same time. The man has had a consistent, faithful run. I would really like to finish like that, however much time remains. Would you be gracious to me, Father, and allow that? Thank you for whatever is to come. Help me to be faithful. God is He who tests minds and hearts (Psalm 7:9) and He is righteous in all His ways.
God has answered that prayer, at least for the last eight years. I am exceedingly grateful. That’s one reason this cancer survivor loves Jesus. He answers prayer. Even if He had said no to my request for healing, I want to believe I still would love Him.
Yesterday I ran into a pastor friend of mine who suffered a bout with tongue cancer as well. It has been twenty years clean for him. He still runs the race well. I want to follow in his footsteps as well, Lord willing.
Lord, thank you for these eight years. I love you with all my heart. May I always do just that.
Among hundreds/thousands of others, Ted and I are thankful that the Lord has given you eight more years to faithfully serve Him and all of us at OGC and beyond. May He fill you with passion, compassion and JOY unspeakable!
Thank you for this article. That’s all I can say. You most definitely have made this blog into something special. You clearly know what you are doing, you’ve covered so many bases.Thanks!